Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Page

I suspect I'm a visual type of person. Images tend to stay with me longer than most things. Possessing a vivid imagination helps with that, I'm sure. ;) As a child, I used to lie on my back and watch the clouds as they passed overhead, loving the shapes I was certain were created for my enjoyment. Later on, I appreciated all that my father did to help me learn to use my first camera--a way for me to capture some of the images that stood out to me. He even went so far as to teach a 4-H photography class for my benefit. I've been fascinated with cameras ever since--something my family and friends tolerate . . . most of the time.

Books were another item that I savored. (I still do, actually . . . but I digress . . . . ) As I devoured page after page, I could envision clearly the descriptions made by each author. Books quickly became my best friends and I spent hours enjoying these treasured tomes. Sometimes I tried to re-enact items that I had read. This did not always end well--like the summer I tried to make my own jerky, after reading a book about a child who learned to live on his own in the wilderness. (My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George.) My mother is still amazed I didn't give myself a good case of botulism. But that is a story for another day . . .

As most people do, I tend to associate icons or images with different times of the year. There are the traditional holiday images: hearts for Valentine's Day, colorful eggs for Easter, flags for the 4th of July, etc. and so forth. At the start of each new year, I envision a blank page.

For me, the beginning of a new year signals a fresh start--a chance to begin things anew. I'm usually a tiny bit sad after putting away all of my Christmas treasures, since Christmas is my favorite time of year, but that feeling is quickly replaced by excited anticipation of what lies ahead. As everything is put away and tidied up after the holiday season, it truly feels like a clean new page is just waiting for me to begin telling my story again. It's totally up to me to determine what kind of tale this new year will be. True, there are circumstances that tend to sway that opinion, like deaths of loved ones, weddings, births, health glitches, etc. but bottom line, how I choose to react to these events will have an impact on how the year progresses.

It helps to keep a journal, to keep track of the adventures that take place. I will confess that some years I do better in this department than during others. This past year is an example of a time that was in part, too painful to share on paper. And yet, as I think about all that took place, I realize that I did manage to take pictures that document all that happened. Perhaps I will put together a collection of these pictures as a visual journal of the highs and lows of 2013. =) Something to think about.

Regardless, 2014 now lies before me, beckoning for me to move ahead, to place my images and words on a fresh page of life. And to me, that is the greatest adventure of all.